An Empirically Based Comparison of American and European Regulatory Approaches to Police Investigation
Posted: 15 Nov 2001
This article takes a comparative and empirical look at two of the most significant methods of police investigation: searches for and seizures of tangible evidence and interrogation of suspects. It first compares American doctrine regulating these investigative tools with the analogous rules predominant in Europe (specifically, England, France and Germany). It then discusses research on the American system that sheds light on the relative advantages and disadvantages of the two regulatory systems. More often than not, the existing data call into question preconceived notions of what "works." In particular, American reverence for search warrants, the exclusionary rule, and "Miranda" warnings may be based on significant misperceptions about the effect of these aspects of American criminal procedure. This conclusion suggests some possible hybrid approaches to police regulation that are presented in the final section of the article.
Keywords: Miranda, interrogation, search and seizure, exclusionary rule, police, England, France, Germany, comparative criminal procedure, warrants, empirical research
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